Students and staff sleep outside to raise funds for Shelter charity

Monday 20 March 2023

Students and staff from Gordonstoun in Moray spent 12 hours sleeping outside with only a cardboard bed and a sleeping bag for comfort. The Year 11 students who volunteered for the event have studied the issue of homelessness and the devastating impact this can have on those that are forced to live this way. To raise funds in support of homeless people in the UK, a Just Giving page was set up and they have raised over £1000 for the charity ‘Shelter’.

Richard Devey finishes his ‘sleep out for Shelter’ night

Richard Devey, Head of Senior School at Gordonstoun was one of the participating staff members. He said:

“This is the third year we have done this in support of the charity but that isn’t the sole reason we do it. I feel it is a very powerful way to promote compassion and empathy which are important parts of the Gordonstoun ethos.”

Huddled together, 2 students using a bench for shelter

Despite a cold and wet night, the participants emerged tired but cheerful. Feedback from some of the 15 student participants included:

“For me, I felt a loss of dignity and respect. We are in a rural part of the country but I can imagine in a busy city with lots of people passing it must be even more degrading.”

“I was amazed just how cold I got, I couldn’t do anything to warm up. My cardboard bed soaked up the rain and there was no protection. I only did it for 1 night and it makes me think of those people doing it for weeks, months or even years”

“It was so hard to sleep with the outside lights and strange noises all around me. I could hear all sorts of noises and it was hard to block them out. I can’t imagine having to live like that every night”

Smiling despite the cold, one student settles down for the night

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

  • Caroline Overton
  • Email:
  • Tel: 01343 837763


Gordonstoun is a not-for-profit independent boarding school which was established in Moray, Scotland in 1934 by Dr Kurt Hahn, a Jewish exile who fled Nazi Germany. He founded the school with the ideal of developing better world citizens equipped to contribute to society. Dr Kurt Hahn was the driving force behind the Outward Bound Movement and also worked with former pupil Prince Philip to establish The Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards. Gordonstoun has been a pioneer of character education which, as well as academic subjects, includes outdoor activities, sailing and service to the community. Three generations of British Royalty were educated at Gordonstoun including the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles. Approximately one third of the pupils at the co-educational boarding school receive financial help in order to attend. The school was described as ‘outstanding’ and ‘sector-leading’ in its most recent inspection and was voted the best boarding school in the UK in 2021.